Yorkies, Potters and the onset of sonder

By far, the most difficult thing to do with a blog is write the very first post.  How in depth do you go?  How much do you explain?  What should you write to get people hooked and revisit?  After writing several drafts, I’m trying to be as succinct, but as interesting, as possible.

Via pre \ˈvī-ə, ˈvē-ə\: By way of; through.

Sonder n. /ˈsɔndɐ/: the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

This collection of thoughts, events and experiences has started out as my way of informing people (whoever may be interested) about my upcoming travels.  Family will hopefully use it to figure out I’m safe and well, whilst I hope others may find it useful in planning their own adventure!  In posts to come I hope to share some of my experiences of planning that future travellers may find invaluable, and show off the highs and lows of long term travel and being away from home.

Firstly though, I’d like to share a story with you to illustrate this major event in my life.  It may also go some way to explaining the catchy title ‘via sonder’…

…My life could be described as having played it pretty safe.  I was born in Huddersfield and had lived there for 25 years of my life.  It was good… in fact, more than good.  I had a good family life, had great friends and generally was lucky enough to get most things I wanted.  The only thing I had to contend with in younger life was being a bit of an ‘inbetweener’ – I probably still am in some ways! A significant thing for me whilst growing up was that  I never liked to stray too far from home.  I was almost scared to be anywhere else or away from family.  However, a significant life event for me in year 25, sparked a move to Stoke-on-Trent; home of the Potters!  As far as I was concerned, this was a good move.  For a time I was to say goodbye to my Yorkie life.

I was convinced I was having a fresh start with a new and promising career.  It was in Stoke where I studied to be, and became, a teacher.  I made plenty of really good friends and had many laughs but life does not always run smoothly.  Never really settling in one place, a rather rapid and strange relationship and a selection of deeply soul destroying teaching jobs, I just 100% knew that life just wasn’t as one would want it to be.  After 5 years and a definite onset of sonder, my time as a Potter was coming to an end and I knew the next thing had to be a big one.  It all sounds very depressing and a ‘woe is me’ story but I promise you, something very exciting was on the horizon (at least for me anyway).

As I’ve grown older (and hopefully wiser) I’ve become less inclined to be a ‘home bird’.  Travelling became one of those things I’ve been so desperate to do.  I’ve been lucky to go on many holidays, but only really in Europe, so I’ve been eager to go that little bit further.  The Potter experience was the final push and we are pretty much back to the present day…

I’ve been back in Huddersfield for nearly 9 months now.  Life in this time has been lived in a sort of stasis, simply creating stepping stones to get to where I need to be.  I’ve battled with supply teaching (after swearing to leave the teaching profession behind), embarrassingly regressed back to childhood having moved back in to my dad’s house and tried living as minimally as possible in order to save as much money as I could (sometimes we have to suffer for our dream though right!?).   I have to say though, I would do it all again in a heartbeat for my upcoming opportunity and recommend anyone to do the same if they have the slightest inclination to travel.  As far as my story goes, it’s nowhere near its end… in fact it’s only really starting.  This ‘prelude’ sets up my epic journey…

I’ve skipped over a lot of details about the planning process, expense and other important considerations so that I am able to write more focused, meaningful posts later.  Although, at least now I can say I’ve given you a brief story to explain why ‘via sonder’ actually exists and where I hope to go with it.  Hopefully you’ve stuck the story out to the end.  Maybe you’ll come back again in the future to find out more… maybe you won’t. If that’s the case I’m okay with that…  Let’s hash it up to being a moment of sonder in each others’ lives… 😉